52 Dinners - Week 26: Holy Shishito, It's A Vietnamese Pho-nomenon

52 Dinners

Our friends Maura and Kris joined us for a Vietnamese dinner last weekend and we had a Pho-nomenal time.
We first met Maura a few years ago at our farmers’ market, where she quickly transitioned from customer to friend. She makes the world a better place by just being her, lighting up every room and sharing so much love and joy with everyone around her. Her best friend Judy Kris is quite charming and handsome, and it was nice to get to know him a bit better.

I made spring rolls with roasted asparagus, cabbage, carrot, basil, mint, microgreens, and some little wild caught shrimps, served with a spicy sesame peanut sauce. Our friend Kelly recently gifted me many pieces from her depression glass collection, including this exquisite sugar bowl that I used for the peanut sauce, as well as the green martini glasses in which I served dessert.
We also had some 1000 Stone Farm shishito peppers with smoked salt. Did you know that it’s impossible to eat a shishito without proclaiming “Holy Shishito!”? It’s true.
This beautiful Lee Wolf Pottery platter was a terrible choice for photographing the peppers, but looked great in person. It was a wedding gift and I don’t use it often enough.

We transitioned to the dining room (thank you Bailey and Ardelia Farm for this poppy fantasy) and started with a simple cabbage salad with cilantro, lime, mango, papaya, and cashews.
Then I brought out a cake stand piled with jalapeno, radish, mint, basil, lime wedges, and hoisin, followed by our big steamy bowls of pho.
I already had some robust beef stock in the freezer, so I simply thawed it and put it in the crockpot with star anise, cinnamon stick, roasted onion and ginger, cardamom pods, all of the other good stuff, and let it simmer on low all day long. Served with rice noodles, chicken, and raw thinly sliced sirloin. I think it was the best pho I’ve ever had.

Refreshing coconut sorbet was the perfect dessert to follow. The recipe was easy breezy: 2 cans coconut milk, 1 can creme de coconut, and 1 cup coconut water. Combine, chill thoroughly, then freeze in the ice cream maker. Shablam. See you next week.

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